Magazine (artillery)
Overview
 
Magazine is the name for an item or place within which ammunition
Ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

 is stored. It is taken from the Arabic word "makahazin" meaning "warehouse".
Magazine is also a term used for a place where large quantities of ammunition are stored for later distribution, or an ammunition dump. This usage is less common.
In the early history of tube artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 drawn by horses (and later by mechanized vehicles), ammunition was carried in separate unarmored wagons or vehicles.
Encyclopedia
Magazine is the name for an item or place within which ammunition
Ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

 is stored. It is taken from the Arabic word "makahazin" meaning "warehouse".

Ammunition storage areas

Magazine is also a term used for a place where large quantities of ammunition are stored for later distribution, or an ammunition dump. This usage is less common.

Field magazines

In the early history of tube artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 drawn by horses (and later by mechanized vehicles), ammunition was carried in separate unarmored wagons or vehicles. These soft-skinned vehicles were extremely vulnerable to enemy fire and to fratricidal explosions caused by a weapons malfunction.

Therefore, as part of setting up an artillery battery
Artillery battery
In military organizations, an artillery battery is a unit of guns, mortars, rockets or missiles so grouped in order to facilitate better battlefield communication and command and control, as well as to provide dispersion for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems...

, a designated place would be used to shelter the ready ammunition. In the case of batteries of towed artillery the temporary magazine will be placed, if possible, in a pit, or natural declivity, or surrounded by sandbag
Sandbag
A sandbag is a sack made of hessian/burlap, polypropylene or other materials that is filled with sand or soil and used for such purposes as flood control, military fortification, shielding glass windows in war zones and ballast....

s or earthworks
Earthworks (engineering)
Earthworks are engineering works created through the moving or processing of quantities of soil or unformed rock.- Civil engineering use :Typical earthworks include roads, railway beds, causeways, dams, levees, canals, and berms...

. Circumstances might require the establishment of multiple field magazines so that one lucky hit or accident would not disable the entire battery.

Naval magazines

The ammunition storage area aboard a warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

 is referred to as a magazine or the "ship's magazine" by sailors.

Historically, when artillery was fired with gunpowder
Gunpowder
Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

, a warship's magazines were built below the water line -- especially since the magazines could then be readily flooded in case of fire or other dangerous emergencies on board the ship. An open flame was never allowed inside the magazine.

More modern warships use semi-automated or automated ammunition hoists. The path through which the naval artillery
Naval artillery
Naval artillery, or naval riflery, is artillery mounted on a warship for use in naval warfare. Naval artillery has historically been used to engage either other ships, or targets on land; in the latter role it is currently termed naval gunfire fire support...

's ammunition passed typically has blast-resistant airlocks and other safety devices, including provisions to flood the compartment with seawater in an emergency.

The separation of shell and charge gave the storage of the former the name "shell room" and the latter "powder room".

Surface warships that have carried torpedo
Torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

es, and ones that still do (such as the Mark 46 torpedo
Mark 46 torpedo
Designed to attack high-performance submarines, the Mark 46 torpedo is the backbone of the U.S. Navy's lightweight ASW torpedo inventory, and is the current NATO standard. These aerial torpedoes, such as the Mark 46 Mod 5, are expected to remain in service until the year 2015...

 for antisubmarine warfare), have had torpedo magazines for carrying these dangerous antiship and antisubmarine weapons in well-defended compartments.

With the advent of missile-equipped warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s, the term missile "magazine" has also been applied to the storage area for guided missile
Guided Missile
Guided Missile is a London based independent record label set up by Paul Kearney in 1994.Guided Missile has always focused on 'the underground', preferring to put out a steady flow of releases and developing the numerous GM events around London and beyond....

s on the ship, usually carried below the main decks of the warships. For ships with both forward and aft surface-to-air missile
Surface-to-air missile
A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

 launchers, there are at least two missile magazines. Sometimes the magazines of guided-missile frigates and guided-missile destroyers have carried and do carry a mixture of various types of missiles: surface-to-air missiles, anti-submarine missiles such as the ASROC missile
ASROC
ASROC is an all-weather, all sea-conditions anti-submarine missile system. Developed by the United States Navy in the 1950s, it was deployed in the 1960s, updated in the 1990s, and eventually installed on over 200 USN surface ships, specifically cruisers, destroyers, and frigates...

, and antiship missiles such as the Harpoon missile. See especially the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate
Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate
The Oliver Hazard Perry class is a class of frigates named after the American Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the naval Battle of Lake Erie...

s, owned by several different navies around the world, in which one 40-missile magazine carries a mixture of all three types of missiles.

On aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s, magazines are required to store not only the aircraft carrier's own defensive weapons, but all of the weapons for her warplanes, including rapid-fire gun ammunition, air-to-air missile
Air-to-air missile
An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

s such as the Sidewinder missile, air-to-surface missile
Air-to-surface missile
An air-to-surface missile is a missile designed to be launched from military aircraft and strike ground targets on land, at sea, or both...

s such as the Maverick missile, Mk 46 ASW torpedoes, Joint Direct Attack Munition
Joint Direct Attack Munition
The Joint Direct Attack Munition is a guidance kit that converts unguided bombs, or "dumb bombs" into all-weather "smart" munitions. JDAM-equipped bombs are guided by an integrated inertial guidance system coupled to a Global Positioning System receiver, giving them a published range of up to...

s, "dumb bombs", HARM missiles, and anti-ship missiles such as the Harpoon missile and the Exocet missile.

Nuclear weapons storage

Nearly every detail of nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s storage is highly classified, although many of the same principles of an ammunition dump
Ammunition dump
An ammunition dump, ammunition compound, ammunition depot, bomb dump, ammunition supply point or ammo dump, is a military storage facility for live ammunition and explosives....

 would apply. The one consistent factor is the greatly increased security compared to that afforded to the storage of other weapons. Among surface warships, only the aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s of a very few navies (the U.S. Navy, French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

, Russian Navy, and maybe one more) carry nuclear weapons anymore, since all other surface warships are forbidden by international nuclear arms reduction treaties
Arms control
Arms control is an umbrella term for restrictions upon the development, production, stockpiling, proliferation, and usage of weapons, especially weapons of mass destruction...

 from doing so. The British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 no longer has any nuclear weapons on any of its surface waships anymore, and furthermore, the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 and the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 no longer have any nuclear weapons. All British nuclear weapons are carried by that kingdom's four Trident submarine
Trident submarine
Trident submarine may refer to the following classes of submarine.*Ohio class submarine of the United States Navy, armed with Trident Ballistic Missiles or Cruise Missiles ....

s.

As for the United States of America, all of these services are still armed with nuclear weapons: U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Army. Most of the nuclear weapons of the French Republic are carried by its fleet of five or six ballistic missile submarine
Ballistic missile submarine
A ballistic missile submarine is a submarine equipped to launch ballistic missiles .-Description:Ballistic missile submarines are larger than any other type of submarine, in order to accommodate SLBMs such as the Russian R-29 or the American Trident...

s.

External links

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